A TOP Ayrshire solicitor has denied posting alleged “anti-Semitic” comments on social media – which joked that Auschwitz was “like Paisley but without the social problems” – after Scotland’s law watchdog fined him £2,000.

Neil McPherson was fined £2,000 by the Law Society of Scotland after allegedly posting the concentration camp comparison on Facebook in 2020.

Mr McPherson told the Times the posts had actually been made up by another solicitor – themself said to be under investigation over alleged false comments – before being seen by an Israeli lawyer, Arnon Nachmani.

Mr McPherson added: “It’s unfortunate, but that’s the way it is.”

He is also said to have described people living in Paisley as “ugly” and “thick”.

The Law Society’s professional conduct sub-committee decided the posts were “offensive and anti-Semitic”.

Mr McPherson claimed the comments were made under a fake account, but committee members found it was “more likely than not” that he was the author.

He has been ordered to pay a £2,000 fine to the society, as well as £100 compensation to Mr Nachmani.

Speaking to the Irvine Times’ sister paper, Glasgow-based national broadsheet The Herald, complainer Mr Nachmani, who spotted the comments eight months after they were posted in March 2020, said: “When I saw the comment online, I found it really offensive, in particular because I am an Israeli lawyer who was born in Paisley and lost family in the Holocaust.

“I decided to make a complaint to the Law Society of Scotland, and I’ve just been informed that they agreed with me that these comments were anti-Semitic in nature and were offensive and unbecoming of a solicitor.

“I was informed that Mr McPherson is to pay £100 to me as compensation, money which I intend to donate to the YadVashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem.

“It has taken some time, but I’m pleased with the result.

“Sometimes people make jokes and we just accept them, but that joke was in really bad taste and he’s a lawyer who should know better.”

The original comments are no longer on Facebook but screenshots of them appear to show Mr McPherson commenting on another user’s visit to Auschwitz.

The post states: “Bit like Paisley but without the social problems.”

Another post on a separate occasion states: “Paisley folk aren’t just ugly, they’re thick as well.”

The professional conduct committee censured Mr McPherson and said a note of the unsatisfactory professional conduct will be placed on his record.

A document outlining the committee’s decision states: “The sub committee was satisfied that...the material was both offensive and anti-Semitic.

It added that it could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt that Mr McPherson wrote the posts, but was “satisfied that it was more likely than not that the solicitor was the author of the offending material”.